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Saturday, November 22, 1997 Published at 15:11 GMT


INXS singer found dead
image: [ INXS: Sold millions of albums ]
INXS: Sold millions of albums

The Australian rock star, Michael Hutchence, lead singer with the pop group INXS, has been found dead in an exclusive hotel in Sydney.

Reports say the star was found dead in his room at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Double Bay, shortly after midday, local time. Hutchence's body was taken from the hotel amid unconfirmed reports that he had committed suicide by hanging himself.

Police told a press conference in Sydney that a belt had been taken away from the scene, but stressed that there were no suspicious circumstances. Only legally prescribed drugs were found in his room

Hutchence, 37 years old, is the partner of the English television personality Paula Yates and father of one of her children.

[ image: Reports say the star was found hanging in his room]
Reports say the star was found hanging in his room
He was a guest at the hotel and had arrived in Sydney earlier in the week to prepare for a series of concerts celebrating the rock band's 20th anniversary.

As news of the star's death was broadcast on the city's television and radio stations a large crowd gathered outside the hotel.

[ image: Hutchence: Focus of attention]
Hutchence: Focus of attention
Paula Yates has been told of Hutchence's death. Speaking outside the couple's home in Chelsea, London, her lawyer, Anthony Burton appealed for Yates to be left alone with her children.

"Paula heard this devastating news through a friend and myself a short while ago... I would ask that she be left alone with her children and friends to enable her to absorb and cope with what has happened," he said.

Ms Yates is now travelling to Australia.

Mr Burton said that Yates could "give no explanation for Michael's death."

Michael Hutchence's parents, who dined with him at a restaurant near the hotel on Friday night, have also been informed.

[ image: Hutchence and Yates: Planned to get married]
Hutchence and Yates: Planned to get married
INXS shot to international success in 1987 with their album "Kick," and have sold 20 million albums since 1981. Hutchence was always described as being the focus of the band.

His private life has come under the media spotlight in recent years for his romances with fellow Australian pop star Kylie Minogue, model Helena Christensen and the former wife of rock star Bob Geldof, Paula Yates, mother of his daughter Heavenly Hirani Tiger Lily.

[ image: Helena Christensen: An old flame]
Helena Christensen: An old flame
Last month, the star revealed that he planned to marry 37-year-old Paula on the Tahitian island of Bora Bora in January.

Her daughters from her previous marriage to Bob Geldof - Fifi Trixibelle, 14, Peaches, seven, and Pixie, five - were expected to attend.

The couple had been house-hunting in Sydney, and were known to be eyeing a $2m Australian dollars mansion overlooking the city's Opera House.

Hutchence told reporters recently: "I'm the luckiest man alive."

ABC's Bill Cafcaloudes tells the BBC how the singer died.

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Related Stories

Tragic end to a 20-year success story

Internet Links

Mercury Records INXS page

INXS fanzine

Official INXS site

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